The Chicago Cubs have a burgeoning superstar talent in 2011 first round draft pick, Javier Baez, but don’t expect to see the slugging shortstop being the 2014 season with the big league club when Spring Training breaks no matter how impressive he is during Cactus League play, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.
“Javier Baez will open the 2014 season at Triple-A Iowa and is close to getting to the big leagues. The Cubs already have a young shortstop in Starlin Castro, who turns 24 in March. This spring, Baez may get some playing time at second base, depending on what the Cubs and manager Rick Renteria want to do.”
The Cubs front office has remained patient with their prospects, including first baseman Anthony Rizzo who earned valuable at bats and seasoning at AAA despite the fanbase clamoring to see the prized first base prospect they acquired via trade for Andrew Cashner.
The bat of Baez has never been in question as he hit a combined .282 with 37 homers at Class-A and Double-A last season, but the presence of Castro who is signed long-term and 44 errors committed by Baez may suggest a position switch is forthcoming.
“Our goal for Javy is to have him play shortstop for as long as he possibly can,” said Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development. “He certainly has some things to clean up with the errors that were made last year.”
Whether Baez is at shortstop or another position, his bat will be a staple in the Cubs lineup for the foreseeable future, but it just may not be as soon as fans of the rebuilding club would like.